Google’s new ‘Handwriting Input’ keyboard lets you manually draw text (and emoji) in any Android app

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Google has today released version 1.0 of its new “Handwriting Input” keyboard, which lets you manually draw the text you would like to type. The app works on both smartphones and tablets as you can see in the gallery below, and it’s—based on my first few minutes using the app—actually pretty good at deciphering your handwriting no matter how bad it may be. It works in any Android app that has a text input field. Read more

Entire Star Wars saga headed to Google Play this Friday with tons of new bonus material, pre-orders now available

Disney announced today that the entire Star Wars saga will finally be available for digital HD download later this week, marking the first time ever that the films have been offered in this format. As confirmed in the TV spot above and the Google Play tweet below, the entire collection will be available to purchase from the Google Play Store this Friday, with pre-orders already up and running for $89.99.

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Google Wallet for Android updated w/ Maps integration & new transaction search tools

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Google announced today that it has started rolling out an update to Google Wallet on Android with a couple of notable new features. First off, Wallet on Android now packs Google Maps integration. With this integration, you can see exactly where you performed any given transaction on an embedded map. This feature, Google says, will make it easier to notice any sort of suspicious activity that occurs.

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Skype 5.3 for Android adds updated UI w/ chat bubbles, animated emoticons & emoji support, more

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Skype today released an update to its Android app, version 5.3, which introduces new features that bring the Android version more up-to-date with features recently released for iOS and desktop users.

Among the new features, Skype 5.3 for Android includes an updated UI with chat bubbles, which looks much like the Skype experience already on other platforms.

The update also includes large and animated emoticons, emoji support, and other performance and user experience enhancements. Read more

Google really wants you to buy a Chromecast, latest freebie mix worth $80

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If you haven’t yet treated your TV to a Chromecast stick to stream content from your Android devices, Google would really like you to do so. The company has been playing with its mix of freebies again, with $80 worth on offer if you buy between today and 19th April.

Current offers include three-month trial subscriptions to Google Play Music, DramaFever and Sesame Street GO, as well as one month of Qelio Concerts and a free Play Movies rental thrown in – and you can even save a few bucks on Amazon at the moment …  Read more

Latest Drive for Android update hints at automatic photo/video back-up and Chromecast support

Google DriveGoogle rolled out an update to the Drive Android app earlier this week, and as usual, what it touted in the change log wasn’t all that changed. Android Police has dug deeper into the APK update file and noticed some changes that hint at major new features coming to the app. First off, it appears that Google Drive will take over the task of backing up photos and videos for users, a responsibility that has been held by Google+ since its inception.

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Jennifer Lawrence’s film ‘Serena’ hits Google Play Store 3 weeks before US theatrical release

Just a day after offering deals on some of its most popular content, Google today has listed Jennifer Lawrence’s upcoming film ‘Serena’ on the Play Store. The film is not slated to hit theaters in the United States until March 27th, but eager Lawrence fans can rent it on the Play Store now for $9.99 in SD or $10.99 in HD.

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Google’s Android and Chrome lead comments on Apple relationship, China, Google Play ads

Sundar Pichai

Google’s Sundar Pichai recently sat down with Forbes to talk about the Mountain View company’s ambitions in China, its relationship with Apple, and what its overall vision looks like. Some interesting quotes from Google’s Android and Chrome head have surfaced as a result, and among other comments, Pichai took a moment to respond to constant criticism from Apple that Google is in the business of monetizing its users. Pichai also touched on Google’s aspirations in China as well as the sponsored ad program it is testing in Google Play…

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Google ups free song storage limit to 50,000 songs on Google Play

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If you’re a user of Google Play Music, you probably know that you can store your own music on Google’s servers for streaming from your various devices, but now Google has announced that the amount of songs that you can store for free has been increased, up to 50,000 songs from 20,000. While many of Google’s competitors charge for this kind of service, Google has long offered the ability to store several thousand songs for free—and now they’re upping the limit.

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